For years, crooks have charged victims to repair nonexistent problems on their computers in order to gain access to sensitive personal and financial information stored inside. Now they’ve added a new scam: trying to talk you into long-term technical support that is actually just an excuse to swindle you out of as much as $10,000.
It starts when you agree to charge the tech support membership to your credit card. The scammers call back a few days later to say the company is closing and needs your bank account information so they can to refund money directly into your checking account. To get the so-called refund, they take a large cash advance from your own credit card and deposit it into your account. Next, the con artists claim that they’ve accidentally overpaid you by thousands of dollars and need you to wire the extra funds back to them, usually in China, India or the Philippines.
These greedy crooks have been known to take out another credit card advance, put those funds into the victim’s account, and then claim that the first wire transfer didn’t go through. Victims have been convinced this way to send multiple wire transfers to the scammers. One elderly North Carolina woman ran up $10,000 in credit card debt when she fell for this scam.
- Avoid tech support scams. You can learn more about phony tech support from Microsoft and the FTC.
- Be very skeptical if anyone asks you to wire money overseas. Once you’ve wired money it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
- If you receive one of these calls, report it to the Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at www.ncdoj.gov.